Reader Feedback

Employment paradox I just finished reading your article (in the June issue) titled 'Employment Paradox' and am concerned that there may be more to this problem than available, skilled, warm bodies. I am employed by a large international company with many manufacturing units across the globe. I have been employed by this company for almost 10 years.


Employment paradox

I just finished reading your article (in the June issue) titled 'Employment Paradox' and am concerned that there may be more to this problem than available, skilled, warm bodies. I am employed by a large international company with many manufacturing units across the globe. I have been employed by this company for almost 10 years. I also recently completed my BS in Mechanical Engineering. I am amazed at the difficulty I have had in trying to find a position that could utilize my experience and education. If there is such a crisis, then why isn't there more interest in people like me who have the necessary skills to hit the ground running? What more could a company want? — Name withheld

I am delighted that someone addressed this problem that each manufacturing company is faced with every day. This is also a delicate subject that one could discuss and argue in many ways, too long to describe here.

But in short I would like to express my opinion for a direction to help to improve this situation. I agree with your closing statement that these actions would further spark interest.

Consider the following:

Many manufacturing companies over the years took the same easy road as the government: slash cost to reduce or even eliminate training (education).

Training and basic education are essential to be competitive in the global market today and more so tomorrow.

It seems to be the general attitude of the common personnel in the workforce today that a machine or a computer will do all the work. Machines and manufacturing processes are very complex and require a well-skilled and versatile workforce to perform.

My proposal is that manufacturing companies must first recognize that investment in training and skill is as much of importance as to invest in good manufacturing equipment and process, as well as to improve manufacturing practices.

Secondly, on a local and state base, manufacturers need to formulate their needs together with the educating body to define future education and skill requirements for the workforce.

More important is that both sides agree to a curriculum that benefits both educators and manufacturers to train in a co-op practice or apprenticeship program the skilled worker for tomorrow.

Cost for training material, educators, and facility must be the burden for industry and state and should be divided on the need required per skill trained.

The common goal for industry and community must be to train the best skilled work force to compete in tomorrow's market. With a well-skilled workforce and lean manufacturing processes, the U.S. would still be competitive in many sectors.

Instead, we see more and more industry migrate toward the cheap labor countries. This is an easier approach with no investment necessary for many companies than to improve and train to become lean and still be competitive.

It is a sad shopping experience to realize that most of all goods are made outside the U.S. — Martin Voelker

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me